By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent
No. 1 ranked Fyffe exploded for a 35-7 halftime lead and never looked back on the way to a 56-14 victory over Gaston in Class 2A, Region 6 action last Friday (Oct. 21) at Shinbone Ridge.
Gaston closed out its regular season at 6-4 and 5-2 and is assured of a playoff berth at the No. 3 spot after Sand Rock beat Asbury. The Bulldogs are idle this week and will travel in the first round on Nov. 4.
“We knew we would have to play a near perfect game to stay on the field with the state’s No. 1 rated team,” said Gaston head coach Swane Morris. “We made two big mistakes that took us out of this one.”
Morris was referring to a fumble and a blocked punt late in the first half when his Bulldogs appeared to be driving for a late score down 21-7. The turnovers proved to be momentum killers.
Fyffe piled up 523 offensive yards, all but 15 of it on the ground, to Gaston’s 264 yards (147 rushing and 117 passing).
Fyffe (9-0, 7-0) wasted little time in lighting up the scoreboard. Following a Gaston turnover, Fyffe was in great field position at the Gaston 38-yard line. Dilan Kilpatrick ran for eight and 29 yards, then scored from a yard out with 8:24 left in the first quarter. Andrew Dunston kicked his first of eight successful extra points and Fyffe was up 7-0.
Kilpatrick exploded on a 68-yard TD run with 5:34 left as the Red Devils took a 14-0 lead, but Gaston countered with Kevin Hollingsworth’s 71-yard touchdown pass to Alexander Allen with 5:13 remaining in the first quarter.
Fyffe added two second-quarter scoring drives to increase its lead to 28-7. Carter Hilley made a 13-yard run with 7:23 to go. Dunston’s kick was good. Next, Kilpatrick scored on a 3-yard run with 1:59 left and a kick by Dunston was good.
The roof then fell in for Gaston. With 1:15 to go in the half Kameron Hawkins’ punt was blocked by Andrew Dunston, who ran it into the end zone for a 35-7 halftime lead. For all intents and purposes the game was over at that point.
Fyffe added two second-half scoring drives to go up 49-7 before Gaston would score again. In the third quarter, the Red Devils scored with nine minutes left on a Payton Anderson 54-yard run. Dunston’s kick was good, making the score 42-7. Anderson scored again on a 14-yard run with 3:57 left in the quarter and Dunston yet again made the kick. The score was 49-14 at this point.
In the fourth quarter, Gaston’s Hawkins scored an eight-yard touchdown with 10 minutes to go in the game. Hollingsworth’s kick was good.
The final touchdown in the game was made by Fyffe’s Payton Stoner on a 1-yard run with 5:31 to go in the game. Dunston’s kick was good.
For the Red Devils, Kilpatrick rushed for 218 yards on 19 carries and scored three touchdowns. Payton Anderson rushed for 98 yards on just four carries and scored twice.
For Gaston, Hollingsworth completed 5-of-15 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown but was intercepted twice. J.D. Pope had 52 yards rushing and D.J. Pope 48.
This article was supplemented by the Fort Payne Times-Journal